SF02 laser range finder - Arduino sketch

LightWare Optoelectronics www.lightware.co.za recently launched a “low cost laser range finder” for hobbyists and students called the SF02. This device uses the time-of-flight of a pulsed laser to measure up to 40m at 12 readings per second. It has an optical filter so it works in both indoor and outdoor situations.

Lots of people have contacted me about a simple Arduino sketch that connects to one or all of the available interfaces on the SF02. These interfaces include a serial port, an analog output and a digital alarm. A first draft of the sketch is attached. The picture below shows the test configuration:

SF02_Arduino_01.ino (9.98 KB)

$250 ...

Pity the code in not wrapped in a lib/class ..

That is only slightly better performance, at over four times the cost, than can be obtained from an easily hacked, commercial laser tape measure. http://blog.qartis.com/arduino-laser-distance-meter/

There are lots of those commercial tape measures out there now, and I'm betting that one of them is even more easily hacked than the example above.

Hey All!

Just found this post.

When you say "slightly better performance", what does that mean? I haven't found anything that compares to the SF02 yet, but I am still looking.

Consider that the hacked device has a cost for the case, interface, screen, and all that is goin to be thrown away. Also that the SF02 is custom, and ONLY measure the distance, all the effort is focused on measuring, and reporting the measurement; in a consistent, repeatable manner.

Does the hacked solution work in full daylight, to 40 meters? This performance is the significant advantage of the specialized unit. Other options I have seen might (occasionally) get a reading in the lab, but have proven ineffective in a real environment.

I would be very interested to see data and or a test method, so we could compare results.

prof_braino: When you say "slightly better performance", what does that mean? I haven't found anything that compares to the SF02 yet, but I am still looking.

Consider that the hacked device has a cost for the case, interface, screen, and all that is goin to be thrown away. Also that the SF02 is custom, and ONLY measure the distance, all the effort is focused on measuring, and reporting the measurement; in a consistent, repeatable manner.

I can tell you exactly why SF02 is crap. Its accuracy is something like 20mm or 3/4" and it costs $250. You can get on ebay laser tapes with sub 2.0mm accuracy for $50-70.

Another thing SR02 is huge. Just look at a photo. You'll need a lorry to carry it around. Guy didn't even bother to make an effort to make it smaller. All laser tapes on ebay are much smaller, besides have case, keyboard etc.

And finally, beside x10 better accuracy and beside x2 smaller bulk, ebay laser tapes are cheaper x5 times.

We'll need to wait somebody else to design a ting like we need. Unfortunately there is an huge need, but no designer is noticing.